Disgraced homophobic judge tops Republican ballot in Senate race
A disgraced former judge who abused his authority to block gay weddings has taken a lead in the race for a vacant US Senate seat.
Roy Moore, the disgraced former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is running for the US Senate seat vacated by Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Moore is most famous for abusing his authority as Alabama’s elected Chief Justice in a bid to block gay weddings in the state.
The disgraced justice had issued a string of orders declaring the US Supreme Court ruling on equal marriage “doesn’t apply” in Alabama due to state anti-gay laws, and ordered probate judges to enforce a gay marriage ban.
He was dismissed from his role over his illegal orders, and was found to have “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” in his crusade against gay weddings.
But the disgraced former Chief Justice, who did not have the backing of the White House or senior Republicans in his Senate bid, topped the ballot in the first round of the GOP Primary yesterday.
Moore took 39.5% of the vote in the Primary yesterday (157,794 votes), ahead of establishment GOP candidate Luther Strange on 32.2% (128,297 votes).
The candidate and Strange will now advance to a run-off next month.
The winner of the Republican run-off will take on Democrat Doug Jones in the special Senate election on December 12.
Victory in the GOP run-off all-but-guarantees victory in the special election, as no Democrat has won a Senate race in the state in more than two decades.
Moore was found guilty last year of all six charges brought against him, and dismissed from his role for the shocking abuse of power.
He hit back by blaming “radical homosexuals” for the decision to remove him, and vowing to pursue a career in politics.
Moore fumed: “This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda.”
Former film star Chuck Norris recently gave his backing to Moore ahead of his Senate run.
Norris said: “Judge Roy Moore is the real deal: He’s tough, tested, and has a spine of steel.
“The Washington establishment knows they won’t be able to count on him, but Alabama voters can. Judge Moore has never backed down from standing for what is right, and that’s exactly what he’ll do in the U.S Senate.
“That’s why the Washington establishment is spending millions trying to defeat Judge Moore.”
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“Alabama needs Judge Moore there doing what he’s always done: fighting to protect our constitutional rights to life, religious liberty, and the freedom to protect ourselves and our families. And he will always put principle over politics.”
Moore said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to have the great Chuck Norris endorse our campaign for U.S. Senate!”
Eva Kendrick, state manager for the Human Rights Campaign, Alabama, said: “Roy Moore has flagrantly and willfully attempted to block marriage equality at every turn in Alabama, using his position of power to push a personal, radically anti-LGBTQ agenda.
“Roy Moore’s bigoted rhetoric and unethical actions harmed LGBTQ Alabamians and emboldened those who would seek to hurt us further.
“We must focus on electing politicians and judges who will move us forward, not backward.”